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George W. Christy to Walt Whitman, 3 June 1882

 loc_jp.00188_large.jpg Walt Whitman

Your "Leaves of Grass," has just been placed in my hands.

You are a dirty fellow; no question about that, but, what is Dirt?

You are a Poet. No question about that, but, what is Poetry?

An enigma to yourself, knowing no difference between right and wrong; equally expressive of each & either, at times all right and in the love of it; at times all wrong, and in the love of it—a mystery you  loc_jp.00189_large.jpg know not where you Stand! Let me place you.—

You belong to the Sans-Culottism of Humanity, whose office it is and duty it is, so thoroughly to express Ourselves that we shall ever after be in absolute liberty and free agency wishing to live in the dirt, filth and mire of Sans-Cullottism or arise to the dignity of a life with Christ in the Body of Humanity

If you can recognize a Brotherhood of Sans-Culottism with yourself in these few things, say so; if not, let it "werk" as the little boy said, but I warn you that, Sans-Culottism to my mind may [illegible] Consequences far beyond your present thought!

Sincerely Geo. W. Christy #9 [illegible] St New Orleans La June 3'/82.—
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